Science and Human Values

“The discoveries of science, the works of art are explorations – more, are explosions, of a certain hidden likeness. The discoverer or the artist presents in them two aspects of nature and fuses them into one. This is the act of creation, in which an original thought is born, and it is the same act in original science and original art. But it is not therefore the monopoly of the man who wrote the poem or who made the discovery. On the contrary, I believe this view of the creative act to be right because it alone gives a meaning to the act of appreciation. The poem or the discovery exists in two moments of vision: the moment of appreciation as much as that of creation; for the appreciator must see the movement, wake to the echo which was started in the creation of the work.”

– Jacob Bronowski (1958)

One thought on “Science and Human Values

  1. These are nice, very personal and poetic thoughts, perhaps still valid for art of today but no longer true for most scientific discoveries. Today most scientific discoveries are made within large projects where many scientists contribute with their special skill. Jacob Bronowskis ideas were not all true even when he formulated his statement. Robert Oppenheimer was leader of the Manhattan project working with a lot of top scientists. This was an early large scale project that certainly ended with an explosion and followed by two more in Japan in 1945. Robert Oppenheimers experiences of the creative process was rather different from Jacob Bronowskis.

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